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Comment Retinal fixation point (Score 2) 160

Gestalt psychology would suppose that the brain processes information with the ability to fill in gaps so to speak, or to quote Kurt Koffka, "The whole is other than the sum of the parts." One of the gestalt "laws" of grouping, that of symmetry, is that object of similar grouping will be perceived as formed around a center point.

Gamers have the benefit of using the natural fixation point of our retinas in an enhanced way (or rather in a more methodical fashion); "focus" as abstract as that means in cognition, can still be more or less analyzed as a gradient via intentness of this point in the types of exercises this study put the subjects. Thus, it would lead to more clarity in the immediate vicinity of this area of focus.

To bring things to a more salient point, the concept of the simple harmonic oscillator (as a quantum function) of the brain would touch on how the fine-tuning of this fixation point awareness would lead to essentially cutting milliseconds off of certain neuronic processes between the optic nerve and the visual cortex. Thus, whether the effects are temporary or not this is still relevant in our understanding of the gestalt.

Comment Re:Sometimes 'sorry' isn't enough (Score 1) 719

Well that's on me since sarcasm is hard to transfer online without the benefit of inflection but I know exactly what it means, thanks for checking. It was also meant as a rhetorical device to lessen my actual 'anger' on the subject too because frankly as much as I didn't care for Bush I didn't hate him the way people hate Obama. Bad president, sure, but not the manchurian anti-Christ that a lot of my FB friends seem to think of 44. And to be honest, I heard the same reports with OWS and Obama so perhaps the former criticisms are more on the police state in general and not any particular president.

Comment Re:Sometimes 'sorry' isn't enough (Score 1) 719

I can't tell if that's feigned outrage or bad sloganeering but really though, our President thinks the US is a third-world dictatorship how? How many Tea Party members were imprisoned and/or summarily executed? Do you remember though during the 2004 elections Bush's Department of Justice infiltrated liberal groups to try and get charges against them? I know you think "liberals" (which I am fairly conservative but have little faith in R's) just try to deflect back on Bush but I fondly recall things he did that reminded me of thuggery. I guess politics is eye of the beholder but it is telling you ask these questions that should be answered yet demonstrate your foregone conclusion that it must be Obama no matter what.

Comment Getting to 24-48 hr advance warning (Score 5, Insightful) 104

The ATLAS system's funding is a step in the right direction but as the article mentions the southern pole would remain a blind spot. Still, having one to two day's notice for an affected area would go a long way. We seem to have most of the >150m asteroids located through current efforts but that still leaves thousands or millions of undetected objects capable of wiping out a city and causing further catastrophe for nuclear facilities. The cost vs. benefit seems evident, better late than never.

Comment Thermal Exhause Port (Score 2) 191

That the US will not consider building a Death Star is great. Imagine the cost overruns and time delays involved in a project that large when Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, etc. bid on this project.

With all the red tape it's no surprise that such a large flaw as the thermal exhaust port was overlooked. No P-trap instead of a straight shot to the reactor core?

Classic arrogance on the part of underestimating a small counter-force (insurgency) due to planning against a more conventional war. Thus, why the Death Star didn't launch it's full complement of 7,000 TIE Fighters and instead only Vader and those under his command knew the deal.

Whether you think it's a good thing or a bad thing, the U.S. is an Empire of sorts but we'd be better off using those quadrillions to invest in our people. There are people in powerful positions who think otherwise though as the profits and promise of destruction are too much to resist.

Comment Email/calendars in the corporate world (Score 2) 510

Yes, these functions can be easily taken care of with a laptop. However with the constant shuffling from meeting to meeting many times the phone often becomes the go-to device when away from the desk. When away from the office, communications in the evening, over the weekends, etc. are becoming increasingly more prevalent.

This brings up the entire philosophical debate on how much more (or less) productive everything makes people who now no longer have the luxury of checking out, having a singular focus, is forced to multitask, etc. but the greater point is if the expectations are for the constant connectivity of employees in a workplace then you have to take the good with the bad.

Comment Waiting for JWST (Score 5, Interesting) 60

It's not too surprising that Hubble is hitting the upper reaches of its capabilities but this peering back towards the beginning is nothing short of fascinating. With so many other 'younger' galaxies potentially out there and currently hidden from sight is motivation to keep this research up and get JWST up and running.

Hopefully the James Webb Space Telescope will not get way off track in budget and schedule again (cautiously optimistic), slated for 2018 launch currently but in any case this is another example of the more we find out, the more we realize we don't know.

Comment Microsoft product design (Score 2) 215

I am sure MS is capable of creating a smartphone design that "works well" for what that's worth, but it's pretty evident that this category is led by devices that are functional and aesthetically pleasing. I don't think MS is painted in a corner to have to make a Microsoft iPhone (Apple will probably try to sue them in any case) but in playing "offense" it would be great for Microsoft to focus on elevating or evolving the smartphone category and not try to be a "me too" device.

If they can pull this off, which would be done through a combination of intuitive/simple interface, unique features, and a robust app system they can compete. I own an Xbox and am pleasantly surprised they've been able to create a good user experience on Live.

Can they compete with a smartphone design? Sure but I wouldn't bet money on it.

Comment Re:wait... what? (Score 1) 39

They specifically point out patents made in research labs so I'm hoping these are cases in materials sciences, biochemistry, etc.

Since we're talking about the internet here, I'm reminded of an article where the physics of how a cat licks water when observed in ultra slow-motion cameras. Although I have fears of patent trolls muddying this website, hopefully it can work effectively.

Comment Dexedrine and the Air Force (Score 1) 487

For what it's worth we've decided it's ethical for our military to use (dextro)-amphetamines in long flights, even bombing runs I recall. In the case of long-term studying, the ethical boundaries will be defined by the success of its use as a legitimate "tool" not unlike a 5 Hour Energy.

Obviously the effects aren't comparable but Americans love to take a pill to cure or enhance something, anything, everything. This seems to be the logical conclusion of this thinking continued. If it's any consolation, perhaps amphetamine salts are the most benign uppers physiologically.

Would it ever be ethical to ween a meth user off through the use of non-methyl amphetamines?

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